Northern Powergrid is the only electricity network operator to secure a place in the UK’s 2017 Top 50 companies for customer service.
The company, which is responsible for the power network that keeps the lights on across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, secured the accolade after its General Enquiries Contact Centre participated in one of the largest and most respected ‘mystery caller’ UK benchmarking programmes.
Every year hundreds of companies from sectors including insurance, banking, energy, transport and retail enter the programme, which is designed to independently assess contact centre customer service standards.
Between April and July this year the electricity distributor’s General Enquiries Contact Centre team, based in Penshaw (Tyne & Wear), received 125 mystery calls. The calls took place seven days a week, 24-hours a day, to test the responsiveness of the 24-hour service Northern Powergrid provides to its customers. All of the calls were assessed for the time it took to answer the call, the effectiveness of the company’s automated self-service system and the experience and knowledge the advisor demonstrated on the call.
Following the independent assessment Northern Powergrid received news this month that it was recognised as one of the UK’s Top 50 companies for customer service. The electricity distributor will find out on 25 October its final position within the Top 50.
All of the information gathered as part of the assessment is provided to Northern Powergrid and will be used to provide insight into real-life experiences which will help the electricity distributor identify areas of further improvement for our customers.
Neil Applebee, Northern Powergrid’s executive lead for customer service, said: “Being the only electricity company in the Top 50 is excellent recognition for our people and great news for our 8 million customers across the region.
“Every day our 24-hour General Enquiries Contact Centre team supports customers with their questions about the region’s power network and our services. We’re incredibly proud of their commitment and professionalism and being part of the UK Top 50 shows that we’re making every contact count when it comes to our customers.
“We train and coach our people so they can provide a consistent, polite, friendly and helpful service and Top 50 gave us the perfect opportunity to see how it feels from our customer’s perspective. We wanted the whole experience to be a genuine representation of how our General Enquiries customer service advisors work every day so we took the decision not to alert our people to fact that they may receive mystery calls. This ensured it was as real-life as possible and we are thrilled with the results our people have delivered.”